A&M political economist: 'Why we need the USMCA trade agreement'

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Congress will begin deliberations about the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) early next year. Leaders of the North American countries have already signed the agreement, but Congress's approval is also required for U.S. involvement.

In a new policy brief, Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service political economist and incoming director of the Mosbacher Institute Raymond Robertson advises clearly that Congress should act on this opportunity to seriously debate the points of the USMCA.

"We need to facilitate trade between these countries if we want to be competitive with the rest of the world, particularly China at this time," said Robertson. "The USMCA has its issues, and in some cases is no better or worse than NAFTA, but it is better than not having an deal."

Robertson points out that if Congress is unwilling to consider the USMCA, President Donald Trump has said he may nix all agreements, including NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement that's been in place for about 30 years.

"NAFTA needed to be modernized," said Robertson of the USMCA's benefits. "This new agreement addresses rules for e-commerce and intellectual property that we really needed."

Robertson also discusses his research regarding the respective U.S. and Mexican labor forces as "complementary" forces, rather than at odds.

For the full discussion, see the video player above. The full policy brief can be found in the Related Links.